For the past two weeks in this blog, I’ve shared the results of a stunning evaluation conducted by the Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP) at the University of Texas at Austin that shows the positive impact of National Fatherhood Initiative’s 24/7 Dad® program. Two weeks ago, I provided an overview of the evaluation results. Last week, I shared what the evaluation found on the program’s impact on reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect.
This week, I share more detail on what the evaluation adds to the evidence-base on the program’s ability to build pro-fathering attitudes, knowledge, and self-efficacy in the skills needed to be a 24/7 Dad.
CFRP used the 24/7 Dad® Fathering Skills Survey (FSS) to measure change in 584 dads related to building the five characteristics of the 24/7 Dad:
- Caring for Self
- Fathering Skills
- Parenting Skills
- Relationship Skills.
In addition to basic demographic questions, the FSS includes 22 items that measure change in dads. (For a “map” of how the items relate to the five characteristics, see Appendix E of the evaluation report.) The dads completed the FSS before they started 24/7 Dad® and after they completed the program. CFRP calculated overall improvement based on the percentage of correct answers dads had pre to post and improvement on each item.
Two weeks ago, I shared that the dads experienced highly significant increases in all five characteristics of the 24/7 Dad. Specifically, the overall and item-specific improvement scores were:
- Overall: Dads experienced highly significant gains in all five characteristics (p<.001) with 63 percent of dads providing correct answers after the program ended compared to only 40 percent before the program began.
- Item Specific: Dads experienced highly significant gains on every item (p<.001). (See page 59 of the evaluation report for details on gains for each of the items.)
- These overall and item-specific gains were independent of race/ethnicity, marital status, education, or language. Younger dads (age 18 to 24) were, however, significantly more likely to show gains compared to older dads (p<.01).
Again, Dosage Matters
In the two previous posts, I mentioned another measure used by CFRP related to implementing 24/7 Dad® that we’ve often been asked about but that hasn’t been part of an evaluation of the program.
Does the number of sessions dads attend affect its impact/effectiveness?
As they did with the effect of dosage on building the protective factors, CFRP examined its effect on building the five characteristics. They came to the same conclusion…YES it does!
CFRP found a significant impact of the total number of classes on changes in FSS scores (p<.05). Dads who attended at least the minimum number of classes the program sites determined was necessary for program “completion” improved 4.5 percentage points more than dads who didn’t. (See page 46 of the evaluation report for details on the minimum established by the sites.)
Has your organization established a benchmark(s) for completion of your fatherhood program?
How many sessions of 24/7 Dad® does your organization require for program completion?